Muscle tension in the neck and shoulders is a common problem caused by sitting in front of the computer for five days a week, or for some, even more.
But what’s most annoying about this muscle tension is that it can cause frequent headaches, migraines and insomnia.
To relieve the problem, I tried Qi Mantra’s Zzzzz Remedy, $64, at the Wheelock Place outlet, which is a 30-minute neck, shoulder and scalp massage combining traditional Chinese acupressure techniques together with aromatherapy.
It started with a light chest and neck massage. The therapist applied a light pressure to my chest with her palms, moving from left to right, continuing along same line connecting the back of my shoulders and upwards to the neck. As she did this, she switched to using her fingers, pressing firmly onto my shoulder muscles. I felt immediate relief.
A light neck stretch followed, as well as a couple of breathing exercises. While she had not pointed it out to me, it felt intuitive to take deep breaths as she put her palm over each side of my face. The massage oil, which is a blend of soothing lavender, geranium, mandarin and rosewood oils, helped to calm my breathing.
From there, she worked up to my temples, eyes and scalp, using the same acupressure techniques. I felt the most significant relief in the nasal blockage that I was experiencing. She pressed two points in between my eyebrows and massaged around my eyes a few times.
After each cycle, she massaged down towards my neck again, pressing my lymph nodes along the way. Doing this helped with lymphatic drainage, removing toxin build up and “heatiness” in the body, she said.
She also did this for the scalp and combined it with circular massage movements that reportedly improve blood circulation.
I felt completely relaxed and had to fight to stay awake for the entire massage. My head and shoulders also felt significantly lighter after the treatment, too.
But the real test came at night, when I tried to head off to bed at 10pm. The conditions to this test? To keep me ‒ an incredibly light sleeper who wakes when hearing footsteps outside my bedroom door – asleep for the entire night, as well as to fall asleep faster than the usual hour (or more) that it takes.
While I didn’t immediately drift off to sleep, it took less time – about half an hour to 45 minutes – and I was knocked out the whole night. Waking up in the morning was also surprisingly easier.
So should you try this massage? Of course. But be prepared for varying results – sleep problems, as the therapist also pointed out, are caused by a variety of factors, which can be physical or mental. This massage addresses insomnia caused by tense muscles, and if you think that is what’s keeping you awake, go for it.
Qi Mantra, Zzzzz Remedy massage, $64 for 30 minutes, is available at all of Qi Mantra’s four outlets.
Photography: Vernon Wong; Art direction: Michelle Tham; Styling: Hong Xinying; Hair and makeup: Dollei Seah, Lydia Thong and Vicky Lee of Makeup Entourage (9111 1919), using Lancome; Model: Lee Soon Young/Nu Models; Dress: COS
Want more advice on how to sleep better? Check out these 5 tips, and what you can eat to help you get a good night’s rest.
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